eye makeup

How to Layer Mascara for Lashes That Have Length and Volume

Get your most dramatic lashes using this mascara hack.
August 19, 2022
Layering Mascara


Big, bold lashes will never go out of style. Now, thanks to false eyelashes, having a full set of fluttery fringe has never been easier. But if you aren’t quite ready to dabble in eyelash extensions, or you're just not that skilled at applying false eyelashes, mascara layering may be for you. 

You can turn your lashes from lackluster to luscious simply by layering a few coats of different mascaras on top of one another. Think of it like putting together a delicious cocktail — it doesn’t have to be complicated, you just need to follow certain steps to get it right. If you’re worried about clumps, don’t be — with the right tricks, you can master the technique of how to layer your mascara quickly. Keep reading to learn the secrets to this eyelash emphasizing hack so you can become a mascara mixologist in no time.

How Many Layers of Mascara Should You Wear?

The rules of mascara layering are simple — there are no rules! Choose two to three mascaras based on the effects you desire and layer away. The trick is to balance formulas so that you walk away with a clump-free finish. How you apply each mascara and how much formula you coat your lashes with will have more of an effect on your look than how many layers you’ve applied.

What Goes First: Lengthening or Volumizing Mascara?

That being said, you may be wondering if there’s a science to which order is the best for your layered lash look. You may have heard that when it comes to skin care you should layer products from lightest consistency first, we would recommend the same for your mascara. 

If there’s no distinction in the consistency of your formulas then you’d typically want to apply your lengthening mascara first to separate and define each lash, then coat with your volumizing mascara so that it catches and plumps up the look of every lash from root to tip.

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The Best Mascaras for Layering 

Applying mascara layers without clumps and smudging comes down to technique and the formulas you choose. For beautiful lashes that make you skip the falsies, try these mascara combos that we love:

Try L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara with L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara for lashes that have extreme length and extreme volume.

Try L’Oréal Paris Bambi Eye Washable Mascara, Lasting Volume with L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara for a fanned out, thicker-looking fringe with length.

Try L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Primer (which is actually a primer) with L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Washable Bold Eye Mascara, to prepare lashes (and even prime the most unruly lashes) for mascara. You can also dabble in color with this combo, opting for mascara in a green, burgundy or blue shade.


How Do You Apply Mascara Layers

Now that you’ve got your mascara mixology tools ready, follow the steps below and you’ll be batting your bold, dramatic lashes in no time.

1. Prep Your Lashes

To make your mascara application easier, start by prepping your lashes with an eyelash primer like the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Primer/Base. This primer wraps around your lashes, acting as a smooth surface for your first layer of mascara and amplifying the impact of any mascaras to follow. The rose oil-infused formula also helps condition lashes so you can avoid that crunchy feel once you remove your makeup.


2. Choose A Formula 

From lengthening to curling, there are many different types of mascara formulas on the market. The best part about layering is that you can use a combination of mascaras to create your perfect lash look. To help you decide which formulas are right for you, check out our article Mascara 101: Your Guide to Different Mascara Formulas.


3. Clean Excess Before Applying

A little mascara goes a long way, so make sure to get rid of any excess mascara on the wand. Simply scrape the entire brush against the lip of the tube before you apply each layer. This will help to prevent any clumping and ensure each layer of mascara goes on lightly and smoothly.


4. Apply From The Root

Like we said earlier, the first coat of mascara is all about separating and defining the lashes. For this, start with a base mascara that has a skinny wand. Place the mascara brush as close to the root of your lashes as possible, then pull upward. Repeat this step on top of your lashes, moving the wand from the root of your upper lash line to the lash tips. Wait for your first coat to dry before you move on to adding your next layer. 



5. Layer Your Lashes

To begin layering, grab the next formula and apply a light coat to your lashes. Preventing clumping is key here, so use a thin coat of mascara and wait for each layer to dry before moving on to the next. Continue to layer your mascaras until you’ve reached your desired look.


6. Finish With Your Bottom Lashes 

The question: Should I put mascara on my bottom lashes? The answer: Yes, yes and yes please! Since your bottom lashes are typically thinner than the top it’s not a good idea to weigh them down with multiple coats, but giving them a quick brush with your base mascara will be just enough to even out your look.

Next: This Is My Go-To Mascara When I Want To Skip A Lash Lift

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris

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